Sunday, November 23, 2008

Stand Up for Singaporeans

Mr Tan Kin Lian, erstwhile CEO of NTUC Income for 30 years, says he will consider standing for election for the office of President of Singapore or an independent MP. I think many in Singapore have been waiting for him to say this, but Mr Tan says he will only proceed if 100,000 Singaporeans (i.e. eligible voters?) say they want him to stand.

I have suggested this in an earlier blog entry, that he should run for Parliament. I didn't know whether he would, if he did so, run under the PAP or one of the Opposition Parties. I thought the Mr Tan would have more sense than throw in his lot with the likes of Mr Chee Soon Juan, so it would make sense if he joined Mr Low Thia Kiang's Workers' Party since he has left the PAP. But now that he has indicated that he will run as an independent, there are only so many single-seat wards available in Singapore. With all due respect to Mr Chiam See Tong, who may still have the will but perhaps not the strength to continue serving his constituents in Potong Pasir as MP, he should pass the baton on to Mr Tan Kin Lian.

There has always been the question: what next after Mr Chiam, who has stood alone for Potong Pasir as MP for 24 years now? Would the PAP just 'walk' in to re-claim the ward, just like that? Of course the PAP candidates have been gaining ground on Mr Chiam in the last two GE, so it isn't like there are no supporters for the PAP in Potong Pasir. But if the PAP were to regain control, then it would be a loss to Singapore for independent voices. Sure, Mr Low would try his level best to prevent that, but he may not have the right person on the ground in Potong Pasir to mount a credible challenge. Remember that the PAP has been working the ground for some time now, if only to nurse a sore thumb that never seem to be healed. So who better to stand in Potong Pasir than the independent Mr Tan Kin Lian?

Like Mr Barack Obama, Mr Tan is internet savvy. I hear that he is quite good in IT too. Like Barack Obama, Mr Tan represents a fresh voice for the people. But I think the most important thing is that he cares to speak out for the people. This is what Parliament needs more of.

If Mr Tan want's endorsement, he has got mine. But of course you cannot rely on an anonymous name for endorsement. So let Mr Tan put up a platform to collect this endorsement and I will put my real name down. Of course I cannot promise to move house to Potong Pasir to give him my vote, nor can I prevent the PAP government in redrawing the electoral boundaries, but he has my encouragement, however much that is of value to him.

How about it, Mr Tan?

Image: Author: Nicolas Raymond


soojenn said...

"Mr Tan Kin Lian, erstwhile CEO of NTUC Income for 30 years, says he will consider standing for election for the office of President of Singapore or an independent MP. I think many in Singapore have been waiting for him to say this, but Mr Tan says he will only proceed if 100,000 Singaporeans (i.e. eligible voters?) say they want him to stand."

Many questions come to mind:

* What are his plans and what can he do if he is elected as the President - does he believe that he can make any difference?
* What can he do as an independent MP? What are the causes close to his heart? What does he think he can achieve as an independent instead of having a party to support him? Why 100,000 Singaporeans? Mr. Tan Kin Lian was the CEO of NTUC.
* NTUC beds with the governement, and it is therefore interesting to be able to understand why Mr. Tan KL after 30 years in NTUC, now has different views with the governement.
* What were his views then when he was the CEO?

Also, why do you think he should join the Workers Party. Low Thia Kiang seems to have blended well into the background, like furniture and even has prasie from the government for behaving well? like a pet? Chiam See Tong if he is unable to continue will find his own successor. If Mr. Tan Kin Lian is able stand on his own, why the necessity to have CST pass the baton to him unless he has no confidence to get elected. We do not need opposition parties to get elected like the PAP, where several of the MP sit on the coatails of the old man, or in a non contested constituency, to get into the government. Mah Bow Tan is one precise example, having been booted out from the elections by the people but is now a high flying minister?

Anonymous said...

Hi all,

In fact ppl were speculating right from the start of TKL involvement in this lehman bro issue that he is probably interested in EP…and it HAPPEN!

I don’t know…if TKL becomes a President…can he be doing things like what he is doing now??????????????

I really dont’ know.

On top of that, I thought most Singaporeans at least the netizens were against EP???? Remember the comments from this post ( and this ( on TOC???

Why the change now?

Haiz…sorry I cannot understand :)

Epilogos said...

Mr Chiam See Tong's past effort in finding a successor has been dismal. You can't fault the man for his spirit of service and his stance as the opposition. But at some time, one must accept that perhaps it is time to step down and let some others of like mind carry the torch for Potong Pasir.

In this respect, we must take a leaf out of the PAP in their renewal process.

Anonymous said...

Singaporeans so kiasi.

Elect TKL to be president got no harm what?!

If he is PAP mole, u just got another Prata Man. What makes u think Nathan is independant?

But look at it this way, he ran a financial organisation, NTUC Income.

Who has better skills than TKL to check on the nation's reserves?!

Ong Teng Cheong was an architect. He would need help that was not given. In fact he said he was being passed around the departments.

Given the recent losses in our overseas ventures, someone should really be checking on how our reserves are spent.

As to whether TKL or anybody representative can do the work, come one, the people gives the rep the power.

In a real democracy, the power is vested in the people. Are singaporeans so dumb?

Please get your mind out of slavery mode.

If your president encounters problems checking the reserves, gather by the thousands at HLP, show that he is acting on your behalf. And you have every right to know.

Anonymous said...

It is only natural to work through out doubts about the man. We don't want to vote in a person who has serious personality flaws, who have questionable integrity. While he may be nominated, he will still have to face the court of public opinion to get elected.

Only, we shouldn't go to ridiculous lengths to show that a person owed somebody $1 10 years ago and didn't repay it to point to flaws in the person. Didn't a wise man once said "...let he who is without sin cast the first stone"? There are not many Abraham Lincolns in the world today, not even amongst the PAP, I daresay.

Anonymous said...

Serious personality flaws?

Yeah, I can think of MM.

Unfortunately I haven't been given the chance to vote him out.

KNN, I am 40 and haven't voted once.

Collin Chan said...

There is a URL set up by Tan Kin Lian where you can post your support.The URL is

Epilogos said...

Hmmm...the signatures are sure slow in the coming. Less than 300 so far, 2 days after the petition went online.

At this rate, Mr Tan may as well remain retired.

Anonymous said...

I think Mr. Tan Kin Lian ask for 100,000 Singaporeans to sent support to him first before deciding whether to stand for Presidency or General Election.

I think:

Frist, Mr. Tan KL may be testing water to see how many supporter actually care about turning against present ruling party.

Second, Mr. Tan KL may be looking for people to run the election with him in this 100,000 supporters, not just one independent party, but a number of groups of GRC to run for the future GE. I think PAP see this way, that why they wanted to push forward the GE to reduce time for Mr. Tan KL to have time to consolidation suitable canidates into his party to run for the GE.

Thrid, may be he just wanted to gather information and static for his previous BOSS (Nobody know).

Epilogos said...

I hope Mr Tan does not have an axe to grind. We can do with less adverserial politics.

Instead, I would like him to be voted into Parliament to speak up for the people, not to bring down the PAP government. Why not the NMPs (Nominated Member of Parliament) then, if this is the case. But I do also want him to show the way, on the ground, about what good governance should be and can be. A tall order, perhaps. If he is any good, people will naturally gravitate to him.

Only, he has to be careful about the wolf in sheep's clothing, some of whom may also look like kangaroos...